Food

How to ripen avocados fast and more Memorial Day BBQ hacks

Justin Chapple, the test kitchen pro behind Food & Wine's Mad Genius Tips, shares four food hack ideas to help make your Memorial Day celebration easier.

1. The speedy trick for ripening avocados

Making guacamole requires a bit of planning because your avocados should be ripe. But what do you do if your avocados aren't quite ripe enough? It's easy, just speed up the ripening process in the oven!

Avocado ripening hack: This works for avocados that are dark but firm. For unripe avocados that are green, you should let them hang out in a paper bag for a couple days first. Here's how to do it: Wrap the avocados tightly in foil. Bake at 200 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until softened slightly but not warmed.

2. How to make corn on the cob easy to peel

Removing the husks and silk from corn on the cob can be a pain. It's messy and the silks get stuck between the kernels. Luckily, there's a hack for making it easier and it's so simple-boil the corn in the husks!

Corn on the cob peeling hack: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the corn on the cobs in the husks and boil for 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove the corn from the boiling water and let cool slightly. The husks and silk peel off with ease. And, if you feel comfortable cutting off the bottoms, the husks and silk slide off even easier.

Bonus tip for boiling corn: Put a heatproof plate on top to keep them submerged. Just remove with tongs when they're done cooking.

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY Show: Justin Chapple shows off four food hacks to make your Memorial Day barbeque a breeze! -- May 10, 2016

3. Turn store-bought BBQ sauce into "homemade" BBQ sauce

Homemade BBQ sauce adds something very special to grilled foods, but can be time consuming to make. This Memorial Day, hack your store-bought BBQ sauce for homemade flavor.

BBQ sauce hack: Whisk 1/4 cup of fruit preserves (like blueberry or raspberry) and 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or other hot sauce) into 1 cup of plain store-bought BBQ sauce to make a custom sauce that's perfect for chicken, beef and pork.

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY Show: Justin Chapple shows off four food hacks to make your Memorial Day barbeque a breeze! -- May 10, 2016

4. Keep your burgers juicy with this one surprising ingredient from your freezer

There's a brilliant (and simple!) way to keep grilled burgers juicy.

Juicy burger hack: Make an indention in the middle of the uncooked burger patties. Put them on the grill and then sprinkle a small amount of crushed ice in the indention. Cover the grill and the ice will slowly melt, keeping the burger moist. When the ice melts, flip the burgers to finish cooking.

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Easy Does it! How do you keep burgers juicy?

Play Video - 1:43

Easy Does it! How do you keep burgers juicy?

Play Video - 1:43

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